So I posted my new Soy Sauce Chicken on facebook last night.  My FB buddies gave me nice comments.  They all said it looked good.  I am pretty happy about it.  I still got a bunch of food pictures of my Hong Kong trip that I need to post later.  For now, I need to post my stuffing recipe first since it’s still the Thanksgiving holidays.  Most of the time, the stuffing were gone pretty quickly for a Thanksgiving meal, while there would be tons of leftover turkey.  I usually had to make another batch of stuffing to go with the leftover turkey.  I used to hate stuffing because I couldn’t relate what it was.  It was mushy, not much texture, it didn’t taste good and I usually couldn’t tell what’s in it.  People put the stuffing in the turkey.  If the turkey wasn’t fully cooked, the stuffing would absorb the blood and you really shouldn’t eat that.  Sorry, it could be very gross.  Anyway, as a Chinese, stuffing is totally an alien food to me. LOL.  Until a few years ago, I decided to learn how to prepare a full Thanksgiving dinner, and I had to learn how to make turkey, stuffing, gravy, apple pies, butternut squash,….  I searched for a lot recipes and watched tons of youtube videos.  Then I found out stuffing does not need be stuffed inside the turkey!  What a relief!  My buddy told me that his mom also put sausages in the stuffing.  I was like “Alright!” That sounds good to me as I’m totally a carnivore!  So I picked a good-looking stuffing recipe online, and I added a pack of sausages.  I could tell by the rate the stuffing was gone that it was yummy. LOL.

Sweet Italian Sausage is the key
Cook sausage first, then add apple, celery, and onion
Stuffing - basically it is some dried bread cubes and spices
Need to let it cool down before adding eggs
Yummy stuffing after it is baked. It didn't last long.

Ingredients (Serves at least 4):

  • Italian sweet sausage, 1 pack
  • Stuffing, 7 cups
  • Celery, 3 to 4 stalks
  • Onion, 1
  • Apples, 2
  • Eggs, 2
  • Chicken stock, 2 cups
  • Sage powder or chicken seasoning powder, a few dashes
  • Dried parsley, 1 Tbsp
  • Pepper, a dash
  • Salt, a dash
  • Butter, 2 tbsp
  • A can of non-stick cooking oil

Steps:

  1. Cut onion into dices, put it aside.
  2. Cut celery into small dices, put it aside.
  3. Cut apples into small dices, put it aside.
  4. Cook the sausages first.  You may want to cut a slit in each sausage and remove the casing first.  Discard the casings.  Use a large frying pan.  You can spray some cooking oil if you like. I didn’t add any oil since sausages are kind of fatty.  Brown a pack of sausages in a pan using medium high heat.  Mix the meat well.  Try to separate the meat into small cubes while cooking.  Cook it for a few minutes until the meat looks almost done.
  5. Add apples, onion, and celery to the meat.  Mix the whole thing well and cook it for 3 minutes or so.
  6. Add stuffing to the pan.  Add 2 cups of chicken stock.  Combine the whole thing and let it cook for another 3 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat.  Let it cool down for 30 minutes or so as we need to add the eggs later.  Ya, you don’t scrambled eggs.
  8. When the pan is cooled down a bit, add two eggs, parsley, dried sage powder, a dash of salt and pepper.  Mix everything well.
  9. Prepare a baking pan.  Spray non-stick cooking oil in the baking pan.  Put stuffing mixture into the baking pan.  Add some butter on top.  That would give a crispy look on the surface when it is baked.
  10. Preheat the oven at 375F.  When the oven is ready, bake the stuffing for 45 mins untouched.  Serve hot.

It was a great Friday yesterday. Nothing was urgent at work.  I didn’t screw up anything. LOL.  I made new friend, my cat is recovering, … a lot of things to celebrate.  I stopped by Trader Joe’s and I came across some interesting food.  They have frozen artichokes.  Artichokes are one of those weird looking things that don’t look too edible in my opinion.  It looks like a hybrid between a flower and a veggie.  It shapes like a flower, but green in color!  Very bizarre and intimidating.  A few years ago, my sister bought one artichoke and she wanted to experiment cooking it.  Artichokes are not Chinese vegetables.  We both had no clue.  We could have searched the web to find instructions but we didn’t.  Someone told her to steam it.  She peeled off the rough edges, then trimmed off the tips of each leave.  After steaming it, that thing looked worse. The green color turned brownish.  It was totally not appealing at all. But we had to eat our consequence, literally!  We each peeled off a leave.  I put it in my mouth.  The leave had so much unchewable fiber.  I just kind of sucked the juice a little bit, and discarded it.  It didn’t have much taste either.  I had a few leaves.  She had a few leaves. We tried this experiment, and it sucked.  We threw out the rest.  Guess what?  The next day her Brazilian friend told her that we threw out the most edible part called Artichoke Heart!!  WHAT???  I felt so stupid.  LOL… Now that I found out Trader Joe’s have this, I couldn’t help putting a bag in my basket.  I was debating if I should make it taste more like Chinese or not.  Then I remember I had seen some pasta dishes have artichokes in it. Bingo!  Italian!  Here comes my new experiment: Artichokes hearts with pasta sauce.  It was very yummy. It made a great side dish.  😀

 

Frozen artichoke hearts
Frozen artichoke hearts
Add artichoke, garlic and cooking wine
Add artichoke, garlic and cooking wine
Add pasta sauce to the artichokes
Add pasta sauce to the artichokes
Stir fried Artichoke Hearts
Stir fried Artichoke Hearts

 

Ingredients:

  • Artichoke hearts, 1 bag
  • Garlic, 1 clove (you can use more if you prefer)
  • Pasta sauce, 4 Tbsp
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1 Tbsp (I’m sure you can use any white wine)
  • Salt, a dash

 Steps:

  1. Finely chop garlic.  Put it aside.
  2. In a frying pan, spray cooking oil.  Use medium heat.  Put artichokes in the pan.  Let it cook for 2 mins.  Stir occasionally.  No need to defrost the artichokes ahead of time.
  3. Add garlic to the pan and cooking wine.  Stir fry it for couple of minutes until the artichokes look totally defrosted.
  4. Add pasta sauce.  Mix it well.  Let it cook for another 3 or 4 minutes until the sauce thickens and sticks to the artichokes.  Taste it. You can add more pasta sauce according to your liking.  Add a pinch of salt if needed. 

I feel a little bit better today that my cat survives his surgery. I hope he stays strong and will recover soon. I was in a much happier mood to try something new knowing that he is getting a bit better.  I searched on google for scallion pancake recipes. I made this once when I was in a cookery class in high school.  I remember this is one of those things that require a lot of work, and take a lot of skills too.  What was I thinking?  Why would I want to do all these work just for a piece of scallion pancake?  I don’t know.  Once in a while, I do weird things that I can’t explain myself.  Or may be I just needed something to take my mind off worrying about my cat.  I followed Ming Tsai’s recipe except it was too late when I realized I put in cold water instead of hot water.  I thought it can’t be that bad, it was just a small screw up.  Oh well… other than that, it was messy to make it too.  Plus, I wasn’t skillful enough.  It turned out more like a scallion nann bread than a thin scallion pancake.  LOL. Ya, I screwed up sometimes but it’s ok.  I’ll eat my consequence literally hahahha….I should have flatten it out more to make it thinner.  It is not a complete failure, but I certainly need more practice and need to follow the instruction 100% next time.

 

Roll the dough out, add scallion
Roll the dough out, add scallion
Roll it in a long swiss roll, then curl it like a spiral
Roll it in a long swiss roll, then curl it like a spiral
Flatten it out to make a 5 or 6 inches pancake
Flatten it out to make a 5 or 6 inches pancake
Pan fry the scallion pancakes
Pan fry the scallion pancakes
Scallion Pancakes
Scallion Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • All purpose flour, 2 cups
  • HOT water, 1 cup
  • Sesame oil, 1 Tbsp
  • Scallion, 5 or 6 stalks
  • Salt, a dash

Dipping sauce:

  • Soy sauce, ¼ cup
  • Chinese vinegar, ¼ cup
  • Ginger, minced, 1 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes, 1 tsp
  • Sugar, 1 tsp

 

Steps:

  1. Mix the dipping sauce in a small bowl.  Put it aside.
  2. Add a tablespoon of sesame oil in a bowl.  Put it aside.
  3. Cut scallions into small dices.  Add a pinch of salt.  Put it aside.
  4. Sieve flour in a large bowl.  Pour a little bit HOT water at a time to the flour and mix it with a spoon.  Continue to add water until the flour becomes a ball of dough.  You may not need the whole cup of water.
  5. Cover the dough with a piece of damp cloth and let it rest for 30 mins.
  6. Cut dough into 4 pieces. 
  7. Roll a piece of dough into a flat, thin pancake.  Brush some sesame oil on the pancake.  Add about a tablespoonful of scallion to the pancake, spread it out evenly.
  8. Then roll the pancake starting from one end of the dough to form like a swiss roll.  Then curl the roll to form like a spiral.  Then flatten it out with a rolling pin to form a 5 or 6 inches pancake.
  9. Use a non-stick frying pan. Spray some oil in it.  Use medium high heat.  Cook the pancake for about 2 minutes on one side.  Add a tablespoon of water to the pan. Then cover it for a minute. This will create some steam and help to cook the dough.  Flip the pancake over, and let it cook for another two or 3 minutes until it is golden brown or look crispy on the outside.  Serve it hot with the dipping sauce.

It was good that I bought a bunch of stuff from a Chinese grocery store last week.  I got trapped at home for days because of the snow.  I had some leftover Chinese Lo Shui Chicken I made the other day.  So I just made a Stir-Fried Snow Pea Tips, a veggie dish, and that was easy enough to fix my dinner tonight.  I don’t really like snow peas, but I like snow pea tips.  Snow pea tips have the same kind of subtle sweatness like snow peas, but they are leafy.  I didn’t remember mom had ever made snow pea tips when I was a kid.  It could be the reason that snow pea tip is expensive.  I got a bag of snow pea tips slightly more than a pound and it costs like $6 from a Chinese grocery store.  It’s not cheap compare to other Chinese veggie.  So you can imagine it’s gonna cost you double the price in a restaurant for a dish of snow pea tips.  Besides the price, I don’t like the fact that most Chinese restaurant add too much oil in cooking the dish.  Ya, I’m bit cautious on the amount of oil used these days.  I really have to lose weight. 

Put garlic and ginger in the pan first
Put garlic and ginger in the pan first Snow pea tips
Snow pea tips
Snow pea tips
Stir-Fried Snow Pea Tips with Garlic Sauce
Stir-Fried Snow Pea Tips with Garlic Sauce

 

 Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Snow pea tips, 1/2 pound
  • Garlic, 1 clove, chopped
  • Ginger, 2 slices
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1 tsp
  • Salt, a pinch
  • Oyster sauce, 1/2 tsp

 

Steps:

  1. Make sure you wash the snow pea tips.  You can use a big pot of water.  Soak the snow pea tips in it for a minute. Then disgard the water.  Repeat for one more time.  Drain well.
  2. Finely chopped the garlic.
  3. Spray oil to the frying pan. Use high heat.  Add ginger slices, garlic, and a pinch of salt.  Count 30 seconds.
  4. Add snow pea tips.  Keep stiring.
  5. Add Chinese cooking wine, and oyster sauce.  Mix it well for couple of minutes. 
February 14, 2010

I loved broccoli when I was a kid.  Broccoli was more expensive compare to other veggies.  Maybe that’s the reason I like it, I liked anything that is expensive. LOL.  I seldom order broccoli at a Chinese restaurant.  They usually under cook it, and make it too hard.  The cafeteria at work would over cook it, which is also yucky.   Ya, I know, I told you I’m picky.  Alright, here is an easy recipe to cook Broccoli chinese style.

 

Broccoli with Garlic Sauce
Broccoli with Garlic Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Broccoli crowns, 2
  • Garlic, 2 clove
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1 tsp
  • Oyster sauce, 1 tsp
  • Water, 3 Tbsp
  • Salt, a pinch

Steps:

  1. Finely chop garlic.  Put it aside.
  2. Wash and cut broccoli into florets.  Put it aside.
  3. In a pan, add 1 tsp cooking oil or you can use spray oil.  Add a pinch of salt.  Use high heat.
  4. Add chopped garlic to the pan.  Stir fry it for 10 seconds.
  5. Add broccoli to the pan.  Stir fry it for a minute.
  6. Add cooking wine to to the pan.  Stir fry it for another minute.
  7. Add 3 tablespoon of water.  Stir fy it occasionally.  Cook for a few minutes until the water dries up.
  8. Add a teaspoon of oyster sauce.  Mix it well.  Cook it for 1 minute.  DONE.
February 13, 2010

Like most people, I may not be willing to try new stuff or create a new dish when I am busy.   It would be too much trouble when the time is tight.  Couple of years ago, I decided to learn a new dish whenever I have a break.  I got a couple of days off around Thanksgiving and I decided to learn a few new dishes.  I made butternut squash and apple pie   Both kind of semi-failed.  LOL. The apple pie turned out to be too sour. It looked good, but not too edible. The butternut squash was edible but a bit chunky!  I asked around.  My coworker told me that I can steam it instead of bake.  So I tried the second time, and it was a success.  I should really make this dish more often because butternut squash contains tons of Vitamin A which is really good for vision.  My vision is definitely getting worse as I use my computer all day long.  Hey, I have no choice, that is my job.  Anyway, I like to make butternut squash as a side dish for meatloaf because the cooking time of these two dishes are pretty much the same.  I made these two again tonight. It was yummy in my tummy

Steaming Butternut Squash
Steaming Butternut Squash
Super Yummy Butternut Squash
Super Yummy Butternut Squash

Ingredients (3-4 servings):

  •  Butternut squash, 1 medium/small
  • Honey, 1 Tbsp
  • sugar, 1 tsp
  • Nutmeg, a dash
  • Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp
  • Salt, a dash (optional)
  • Butter, 1/2 tsp (optional)

Steps:

  1. Cut the butternut squash in halves.
  2. Remove the seeds.
  3. Prepare a steamer. Add enough water to the pot (at least couple of inches high for water level) because we will steam the butternut squash for 45 minutes.
  4. Add the butternut squash to the steamer.  Use medium high heat.  Cover it with a lid and steam it for 45 minutes.  Check occasionally to see if you have enough water in the pot.  Add more water if needed.  DO NOT burn the pot.  I made this mistake before!
  5. Remove the butternut squash from the pot when it is done.  Be careful, it is super hot!
  6. Use a spoon, scoop off the meat and place it in a big bowl.  Discard the skin.
  7. Add the following to the squash: honey, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt (optional) and butter (optional). Mix it well.  Since it is steamed, it may have a little bit of water in the bowl after mixing it, you can use a spoon to scoop off excess water.

Optional step: The texture so far should be very soft.  If you like it to be more dense, you can put it in a 375F oven for 25 minutes or so.  I did not add this extra step tonight, see the picture.  It turned out pretty good as is.